Ever have one of those days when you're unsure if you can make it to the end of the day without snoozing at your desk? Those sleepless nights can be tough, but staying awake on the job is even more painful. Too much coffee can make you jittery, so read on to find out what else you can do to avoid snoring at work.
Some jobs come with a company handbook and a strict set of guidelines regarding office hours, dress code, and sick days. But in today's business world, plenty of companies leave those parameters to the employee's discretion so long as the work gets done. Of course, we all seek to meet our employer's expectations and play by the unspoken rules. For the times you're embarking on a new job in which the handbook is less than detailed, we've rounded up eight things you can learn about your new office through simple observation.
If you find yourself struggling to stay focused at work, and as a result, your workday seeps later and later into the evening, these tips might help you complete more during your 9-5 stretch. Beyond tackling your to-do list, we've included steps that can help you better manage your office time.
- Plan your day on a curve – Start off easy, complete your hardest projects between 10 a.m.–2 p.m., and finish your day with housekeeping tasks.
- Address projects first and email later – We all spend hundreds of hours a year reading our email. Every time you choose to read a new message rather than continue what you are doing, you prolong the total time it takes to finish an assignment. Try to ignore your inbox while you are mid-project and instead, check it afterward or limit this distraction to every 20 minutes.
- Stay organized – I know I'm guilty of shying away from a chore to organize my desk. Keep your space clean and clutter free, so you can focus your attention on your work rather than feeling anxious about the mess around you.
We're always looking for new ways to amp up our 9 to 5 outfits, and with the sun beating on our backs, we can't think of a better time to refresh our closets with a few game-changing pieces. That said, we're looking to pretty silk maxi skirts, chic sleeveless jackets, statement sandals, and even an attaché bag in the prettiest green hue to switch up our office attire. All it takes are a few pieces, 10 to be specific, to inject a fresh twist into your work ensembles. Ready to swap out those pumps for a killer pair of woven sandals? Just click the slideshow to see the essentials you need now, then start shopping.
Photo courtesy of Mango
There are very few things that are worse than getting sick. Not only will you have pricey medical bills to pay, but you may also have to skip out on work. Fortunately, you can employ plenty of preventative methods to avoid falling ill. We've heard the usual "eat right and exercise" advice, so here are a couple of tactics that you may not have heard of:
- Immune boosters in a pill: Although you've heard of the usual immune boosters like vegetables and fruits, there are a couple of holistic cures you might want to try. There's New Chapter's LifeShield Immunity ($20), which is a supplement made out of a combination of mycelium, fruiting bodies, spores, and extracellular compounds from tonic mushrooms.
- Take ginseng with your vaccine: When you get a flu vaccine, try taking some ginseng with it so you'll bounce back from the effects of the vaccine. There was a study done in which only 13 percent of the group of participants who took ginseng with flu vaccinations caught colds vs. 37 percent of the placebo group.
- Trick yourself psychologically: Don't discount old wives' remedies! Even if you don't have any scientific proof, perhaps the cures have some sort of psychological effect that results in physical effects. For example, a cure for cough that works for me is rubbing vapor rub over my feet and wearing socks at night. Another scientifically disproved treatment is Airborne, which somehow always fends off a cold when I feel one coming on.
Get your PJs, it's time to head to "night care"! Nine to fivers are quickly becoming a thing of the past, and parents' alternate work schedules get blamed for all types of things, even childhood obesity. Thanks to good old supply and demand, a new industry has cropped up in the parenting world. Known as "night care," day care centers are extending their hours late into the evening, and sometimes through the night, to accommodate the nearly 40 percent of the American work force who reportedly work nonstandard hours. According to a story in the New York Times this week, "It’s the wave of the future. The trend is to move beyond nine to five because, with the changing economy, that’s where the need is."
The concept of having someone care for your kids at night isn't a new one: plenty of LilSugar readers said they would hire a night nurse if money was no object , but this is the first time there's been a significant shift from at-home night care for children to the use of outside facilities. While complete overnight care is still relatively rare, the idea of a child being fed dinner, read a bedtime story, and tucked in somewhere other than home might be the wave of the future.
Have you ever utilized a night care program? Would you?
Work it, girl! Working from home can sound like an ideal setup for a mom; until one actually attempts to say, write an article, or make an important call with an attention-craving toddler trying to destroy any expensive electronics that are getting between him and the park. Working from home has its challenges, but the pros are pretty amazing. The following products will help mama get her work done, and keep her sanity.
- A good to-do list is essential for today's multitasking mamas. Remember the Milk ($25) is a top-rated option thanks to its ease of use, and accessibility from multiple devices.
- What mom doesn't need an extra hand? Being able to have a (brief) phone conversation while throwing a tennis ball back and forth with an energetic toddler might not be the least stressful option, but at least with a device like the Hands-Free VTech Phone ($100), it is possible to do both.
- Most agree that when choosing a work-from-home schedule, it's best to have distinct times for work and times for play. Great goal, but sometimes that one last email can't wait for naptime or the babysitter. A stand-up desk, like this adjustable height Safco model ($237) is not only great for the back, but it will keep curious lil hands at a safe distance from expensive laptops.
- Don't underestimate the power of the humble Crock-Pot ($44). The ability to throw dinner fixin's in at noon and not think about it again until 5 p.m. is a major time-saver.
- The less paper, the better when it comes to staying organized. Swap Post-its and random scraps of paper for Dry Erase Boards ($44) to keep track of lists and notes.
What's your best tip for working at home with kids?
All good things come to an end, and that includes vacation as well. Settling back into work is hard especially when you're missing the sun and sand or whatever you immersed yourself in during your travels, but the vacation bliss doesn't have to end. It's said that people reap more benefit from multiple short vacations rather than one long one, because we derive most of the pleasure of our trip from planning. Personally, I think there are plenty of happy aftereffects as well.
I recently took a trip and am determined to make the happy travel buzz last for a good while. Here are some simple strategies I've been using:
Put Your Memories on Facebook: Upload your images and videos of the trip onto Facebook and watch the discussions begin! It's fun to see friends commenting back and forth on pictures and videos, and it'll be a constant reminder of the special moments you captured of your trip with your camera.
Buy Souvenirs: A souvenir is a physical memory of the fantastic time you had on your travels. Leave it around your house or at the office to inspire some awesome daydreams. Reader Lovely_1 puts it best when she said, "I like to buy something nice for my home that i can display. Then when someone comments on it I can be like 'Oh, I got that in Fiji!'"
Let's face it: dressing for the office can be a challenge. If you're lucky enough to work in a creative space, you may feel more pressure to keep your looks exciting (and not take total advantage of the lax dress code). If you're in a pretty corporate professional environment, it's even more likely that you'll be surrounded by ensembles that are duller than dishwater. Luckily, there are a few easy pieces that can ensure you look polished and powerful — whether you're working with a base salary or something a bit more bountiful. From an anything-but-boring blazer to a punchy pair of pants, click through to see and shop 10 pieces that will bring some serious cool to your cubicle.
The news keeps getting worse for those of us chained to our desks — that simple act of sitting for hours at a time is doing us way more harm than good. In fact, sitting for prolonged periods of time is so bad for us that not even 30 minutes on the treadmill can counteract its effects (although it's better than nothing). Learn why sitting is detrimental to your health and you might just be inspired to move more.
It increases your risk of cancer: A new study has found that prolonged inactivity increases our risk of certain cancers, including breast and colon cancer. The studies found that women who moved more had smaller waist measurements and lower cancer biomarkers, both of which are risks for developing cancer.
It causes weight gain: One of the most apparent risks of a sedentary lifestyle, of course, is packing on the pounds. In fact, many people blame the growing obesity epidemic on the fact that we sit for the majority of the day. Now that more people have desk jobs than in history, it makes sense that the less we move, the higher the rate of obesity.
More bad news for desk dwellers after the break.